In Flagstaff and northern Arizona, some of the most fatal failures I see with water damage are fairly quite avoidable. One of the water damage situations we see this time of year is people forgetting to take their hoses off their hose bibs. We will often see hoses still charged with the water on, only to be held back by the water gun handle itself. Maybe you washed your car that day as temperatures were high? Maybe you were washing off your front deck, or a bike, and just forgot about it? What ends up happening is the hose will slowly freeze in the middle of the night, that freeze well then freeze into the hose bib itself, and then into the house where the hose bib screws into the threads at the waterline supplied by your home. We usually see a one-inch split right at the threads about a foot into the house. It will usually end up shooting through the drywall at some point, depending on where it broke. So removing your hose every time you use it this time of year, can save you a lot of damage and frustration. This is one of the many ways to prevent water damage around your home.
We also see people forgetting to turn off their water supply to their irrigation system. Your irrigation system needs to be drained, flushed out, blown out and winterized this time of year. It usually doesn’t affect the inside of your home, although I have seen it happen, it can be quite expensive to replace the following year. So make sure to turn your water off, usually at the curb, a separate valve next to the water supply valve to your home. Once your water supply is shut down, move to your irrigation valve manifold, use a screwdriver and open the relief valves. If you have an air compressor? You can put the air compressor nozzle into the different valve zones and blow out the system. You will actually see the sprinklers rise back out of the ground in the majority of residential systems. Once complete, leave the valve handles slightly open to a 45 degree angle. If this is not your cup of tea? Then call a good landscaper or get a referral for one. They can quote you a price to do all this as well. One last thing, I always like to put insulation in my water supply boxes at the curb. It’s been known to get cold enough to freeze right there as well.
The third mistake we see, is people failing to remove pine needles from their gutters and roofs. Pine needles will ultimately block the flow of water when rain and snow is present in the winter. It will then create a dam so that your gutters are now holding water. They will freeze and thaw, and freeze again. The problem surfaces when we have back to back snow storms, or one big snow storm with heavy accumulation. The gutters will become non-functional. As the snow melts instead of going down the gutter, due to the pine needles, it can back up under your roof and help create an ice dam. Your roof is designed to Shed water, not hold water. The water will slowly move under the shingles back up the roof, up the felt paper, and into the plywood seams at the roof decking. Once this happens now gravity will take over, and the water will begin to start running and dripping onto your attic insulation, making it extremely heavy, in many cases your drywall lid will cave in. In other instances it will travel down your walls, and possibly into the ceiling of your home, creating water bubbles in the paint, and ultimately causing water damage to your home. We see this quite often, so maybe ask the landscaper how much it is to clean out your gutters as well? Cleaning your gutters is another very easy way to prevent water damage and flooding around your home.
If a home becomes vacant, due to rental turnover, or possibly it’s for sale? We often see people turn the actual heat off to the home. However the water stays charged. This is a costly mistake, as it will usually end up in water damage, sometimes severe damage. We have seen this mostly with tenants at the end of the lease. They said that they turned the heat off because they didn’t want to pay for the gas, as they were calling the utility company to have it turned off, and out of their names. Flagstaff and northern Arizona has several homes that are known as “off the grid.” Meaning they do not have city supplied electrical, gas and water to the home. So they rely on big propane tanks to heat their homes. People will leave and forget to turn the heat down, or for whatever reason will run out of propane, when they’re not home. Ultimately your pipes will freeze, and caused water damage to the home.
This is always a good time of year to have your HVAC system looked at. The absolute best way to make sure your pipes won’t freeze and cause water damage to your home, is to have a plumber install a shut off valve in your home. I have one in mine, and every time I leave for a weekend, or on vacation, I turn the valve off so that the water is shut off to the home. It can save a lot of time and money, after all, I don’t want to become my own customer, LOL.
Mammoth Restoration is the most trusted name in emergency restoration services celebrating 15 successful years of business in northern Arizona. Whether you are in need of water damage restoration, pack out services, mold remediation services, carpet cleaning, biohazard cleanup, fire damage restoration, restoration and reconstruction, or trauma cleanup, give us a call at (928) 714-0003.
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Mammoth Restoration works with home and business owners throughout Flagstaff and Northern Arizona, insurance companies, the State of Arizona, various law enforcement entities, and other licensed contractors. Call us today for your restoration and remediation needs.
Mammoth Restoration works with home and business owners, insurance companies, the State of Arizona, various law enforcement entities, and other licensed contractors